Mumbai: The civic poll may still be a month away and he may not have yet got a party ticket to contest, but 30-year-old businessman Samrat Moze has already become the talk of the town in Pune. Seeking a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket, Moze makes it a point to move around the place, wearing gold ornamants weighing 8.5kg.
After the untimely demise of former legislator and "original Goldman" Ramesh Wanjale, in June last year, Moze has earned the sobriquet "Goldman" of Pune.
As against 2kg of gold ornaments approximately worth Rs5.58 million (Dh397,805) worn by late Wanjale, Moze wears different kinds of necklaces, chains, bracelets and rings on all his fingers — totally weighing 8.5 kilograms worth nearly Rs25 million.
Moze has no qualms about admitting that he is fond of wearing gold ornaments, a trait that he claims to have inherited from his forefathers and says he has been showing off the ornaments made from the yellow metal since his childhood.
"I have been wearing [them] since childhood. My father used to gift me gold chains when I was a schoolboy. I would wear them with pride. I am told that even my family members from earlier generations also wore gold ornaments in a similar manner. That's why wearing golden jewellery on my body has come naturally to me," Moze says.
"In the early days, only Bollywood music director Bappi Lahari would be seen wearing gold rings, bracelets and necklaces on his body. He did not get the nickname of Goldman. It was Ramesh Wanjale who earned that nickname for the first time and became popular across Maharashtra. After the death of Wanjale, I am now known as the Goldman," Moze says.
A resident of Pune's Sangam locality and nephew of three-time Member of Legislative Assembly Rambhau Moze, Samrat Moze is a tourist operator and owns a huge parking lot near the Sangam bridge.
In recent years, he has been involved in social work like organising blood donation camps and health workshops for women.
The Mozes are close to Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar. However, Mozes' proximity to Pawar does not mean he will get an NCP nomination to contest the February 16 Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
This is an inference one can easily draw from an unpleasant experience "original" Ramesh ‘Goldman' Wanjale suffered at the hands of the NCP bosses, especially Pawar's nephew and state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.